Margriet Blaauw and Virpi Lähteenmäki
Disappearances are a worldwide problem. Over the last few decades the world has been shocked by accounts of tens of thousands of people who are known to have disappeared in Cambodia, Latin America, Iraq, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya and others.Forced disappearance have an effect on the individual, his/her family and the community as a whole. The problems that family members of disappeared persons face are complex and can be overwhelming.
Autonomous Women`s Center Against Sexual Violence was founded in Yugoslavia in 1993 with the primary aim to work with women raped in war, as well as to support women survivors of all kinds of male violence against women.
Historically very few measures have been taken to address sexual violence against women committed during armed conflict, it is not true to say that there has always been complete silence about the issue. Belligerents have often capitalized upon the abuse of their women to garner sympathy and support for their side, and to strengthen their resolve against the enemy. Usually, the apparent concern for these women vanishes when the propaganda value of their suffering diminishes, and they are left without any prospect of redress (for historical reference).
It is hoped that this research will act as a first step towards a better understanding of what survivors want and expect from reparation. This in turn will help to make the services offered as effective as possible. The survey details what research has already been undertaken in this area and identifies gaps in that research, with a view to determining the needs for additional courses of action.